Thursday, January 20, 2022

awkward is as awkward does

It's been a quiet start to the year around these parts. Conditions were mild and reasonable.... right up until they weren't anymore. And the last few hoped for outings of the season (like a derby at Loch Moy!) were sadly swept away with the snow storms. 

pictured: boys literally taking down the fence bc of course the grass is always greener, right? (hint -- look for that white line trailing along the ground...)
But. Eh, nbd. It's been a pleasant sort of quiet. And Charlie's actually been doing really really well in our admittedly kinda monotonous routine. He feels physically incredible, after what was undoubtedly his soundest year on the books with me. 

and, naturally, by the time they finally got let out onto that grass, mother nature unleashed some murder on it, whoops. where there's a will, there's a way tho!
And we're still clinging on to semi-regular Molly lessons, emphasis more on "semi" now that it's winter. Charlie has learned so much from these lessons, it's incredible. 

Mostly our work in between sessions focuses almost entirely on me just... practicing the mechanics. It's almost as if the work is somehow innate to Charlie. Like, by the time I figure out how to achieve a certain position, he already knows the rest. It's cool. I like it. 

ooooooh that's nasty tho
But ya know. Charlie will be Charlie, lol. Sound or otherwise, he still can't really go all that long without some sort of interesting ding. And this time, it's a doozy of a looker on the point of his hock. Not hot, not sore. Kinda maybe a little itchy.... But just... funny? And big. 

the actual dimensions of a tennis ball tho, why omg
And I tried to be so so SO reasonable lol. I texted the vet, pointing out that he had a fresh tick bite all the way up the inside of the leg, and the whole thing up and down had a little bit of weird fill. Occam's razor, and such, we figured the simplest solution would probably be correct -- and the swelling was likely related to the tick bite. 

houston: we've found a source
Probably, tho, I should have kept investigating. Bc while our hypothesis was "tick bite," my treatment plan included movement and light exercise to work out the swelling. On Day 2, tho, I found a somewhat fresh wound that better explained the localized nature of his swelling.

legit had an identical wound on my elbow after falling backwards on a flagstone pathway a couple years ago
It's not a particularly significant wound, in and of itself, tho I did opt to rest Charlie rather than exercise him at this point just to help ensure it would heal quickly. 

yep, turns out, charlie bashed his own self on his own stall wall
Some additional sleuthing around his stall uncovered a small fresh looking blood smear on the stone outer wall -- right at hock height. Bleh. So, it kinda seems like it was self inflicted, but probably still a solid blow. 

Charlie's stall neighbor, adorable pony god of mischief Loki, is a notorious wall kicker at feeding times. And honestly this was one of my chief concerns when Charlie moved into this stall a couple weeks ago. But... to be perfectly honest, I've never seen Charlie even acknowledge Loki's antics, let alone participate or return fire. 

So... While the injury could have come from him kicking the wall, I'm more inclined to think he was just plain old awkward. Which.... Hopefully is a mistake he'll only make once? 

gross. but.... harmless?
Anyway. Again, the horse is VERY sound. And the wound healed in like two days... So he's returned to work without even the slightest hitch to his giddy up. My vet had wanted to take a quick peek early on, tho unfortunately a miscommunication meant the horse was turned out in the far pastures instead of kept in. So she just dropped off some scripts I ordered and assured me the horse would be fine. 

In our last Molly lesson, tho, she compared it to the "capped hocks" chronic condition that some horses have (where apparently they occasionally need to get fluid drained from the bursa?? idk), and encouraged me to work harder to get the swelling out lest the condition become permanent. 

ugh sir, you're still beautiful tho <3
My vet doesn't think that's particularly likely in this case, and rather believes the swelling will resolve on its own -- tho it may take a while because of the location. Just to be safe, tho, she's helped me source some expired Surpass. Bc just like everything else in the world right now, supply chain issues make getting things shockingly difficult haha. 

So. Here's to starting off the new year with an appropriately ridiculous, but ultimately (hopefully?) harmless, notch on the belt for Charlie, King of the Dings. Anybody else ever see something like this? Any tips or tricks for getting swelling out of a hock bursa???


  1. What an odd and generally gross injury. I'm actually shocked he's sound on it. Horses are weird.

  2. Previous horse had something similar, it did eventually go down over time. If your vet is ok with it DMSO/Furacin sweat can sometimes help.

    1. ya know.... i *completely forgot* about the jar of furacin in my locker haha.... that's definitely an idea!!

  3. Check with your vet, but I think Voltaren is the human version of Surpass if you can't find any.
    Both Pammon and Shiny managed to scrape up legs this past week too! And both ridiculously overreacted to tiny scrapes with enormous legs. 'Tis the season! Hope Charles is fully recovered quickly!

    1. luckily i've gotten some expired surpass haha, so hopefully that's good enough! but yea omg these ponies with their ridiculous overreactions! absurd lol

  4. Ice should help. It's not an easily bandaged area, but a hock wrap or bandage correctly applied will help too.

    1. hmmmm it's currently 15*F out right now so the idea of doing anything with ice is both very unappetizing, but also maybe redundant? lol idk, we might give it a try anyway!! pretty sure my hock wrapping skills aren't quite up to snuff lol...

  5. All I know about is sweating and ice, but sweating never helped with Dante's one inflammed leg, and hocks are notoriously hard to ice. Pressure bandage may help too!

    Sorry you are going through this and glad that Charlie is sound.

    1. luckily it isn't really much to "go through" at least -- charlie is fine, just has an ugly!

  6. Oh Charlie! I wonder about epsom salts (like a poultice)? it won't hurt that's for sure.

  7. Dang, that's an awkward place to handle. If it was a fetlock one would be icing but how to ice a hock?? I think there are special hock ice boots out there but maybe not very economical for what seems like a pretty minor injury.
    Wynnie had a fat hock as well aged 2 weeks. It ended up being a pressure sore from lying contentedly on the small bit of bare concrete in her otherwise fully bedded, rubber-matted stall at night. (Wynnie says it was hot and the concrete was cooler!) The vet also feared it might leave a permanent blemish, but three weeks later, it's almost gone.


Thanks for leaving a comment! If you have trouble with this form, please email: fraidycat.eventing at gmail.